Saturday, October 19, 2013

Woolworth's Frito Pie :An Old School Santa Fe Favorite

Now my Aunt Gina's going to be tiffed that I'm sharing this recipe, she already got mad at Anthony Bourdain for sharing it, but what can I say, it's part of my history thus must be included in my cyber scrapbook! 

Here is the basic recipe: 
New Mexican Red Chile sauce
This version of red chile sauce does not include meat of any sort.  You can easily add ground beef, shredded beef or chopped beef.
·         ½ cup red chile powder
·         2 ½ cups chicken stock or water
·         2 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
·         ½ cup white onion, chopped
·         2-3 cloves garlic, diced
·         1 teaspoon cumin seeds, roasted and ground
·         1 teaspoon dried oregano
·         1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·         Salt to taste
1.       Combine chile powder with 1 cup of stock or water; whisk to ensure it is smooth and set aside.
2.      In a large, heavy pan over medium heat sauté the onion for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté a few minutes longer.
3.      Add spices and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly also scraping the sides of the pan.
4.      Add chile mixture and remaining stock or water.  Stir to combine fully and heat to simmering stirring frequently.  Reduce heat to a low simmer; cook stirring often for about 20 minutes or until chile is the consistency of a thick sauce.  Salt to taste.  Note: it will not thicken like a cream based sauce but will not be watery either.
Pinto Beans
The pinto beans in the Frito Pie are not heavily seasoned nor do they need to be with the chile sauce.  Any surplus beans can be added to other dishes or frozen.
·         1 pound of dried pinto beans
·         Water
1.       Sort dried beans to remove any small stones or shriveled beans.
2.      Soaking:  Place the beans in a bowl with double the amount of water to beans and allow to soak overnight, or place beans in a stock pot covered by 3 inches of water.  Bring to a boil, and allow to boil lightly for 15 minutes with a lid on.  Turn off heat and allow to soak for 90 minutes.
3.      Drain beans and replace water with fresh water to cover beans by about 2 inches.  Bring water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, partially cover and allow to cook 3-4 hours until tender.  Check periodically to ensure water is still covering the beans and that they are not sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Add more water if needed. But be sure it's hot water, I learned this secret from my om after messing them up countless times. 

Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and white onion. Not yellow...white. Never ever yellow! 

Now, needless to say there are variations in how to serve 
this, and if you do not have the Fritos in individual bags then a bowl is just fine.  The important thing is the amount of ingredients, you don't want too much or too little of anything, and surely you can make it with ground beef or veggie, like I did today.

Enjoy a New Mexico tradition and share with your friends! 

If you're ever in Santa Fe and want to see the original 
location, it's on the plaza of Santa Fe right on San Francisco

Here's some cooking music! 

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